Supermarine’s Schneider

Long before the Spitflre, R J Mitchell was designing sleek monoplanes to win the Schneider Trophy. Ken Ellis describes a golden era

Line-up on the ramp at Calshot in 1931, with the castle behind. Left to right: S.6B S1596, S.6 N249 and S.6B S1595. ROLLS-ROYCE

Calling the revellers to attention, the dapper and well-respected Jacques Schneider addressed his fellow countrymen at the Aéro- Club de France. It was December 12, 1912 and the gathering was honouring Jules Védrines, who had won the prestigious Gordon Bennett Aviation Cup in Chicago, USA, in a Deperdussin monoplane at 105mph (169km/h).

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